Red Giant Universe Goes Retro With Effects Plugins

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Who would have thought that the fuzzy, grainy like texture of VHS would get people feeling so nostalgic that they’d want to make a film in it?  Thankfully, with Universe 2.2, Red Giant Software has created a new effects plugin that makes the nostalgia of the 80s only a click away.

Universe 2.2 is all about video transitions. This release includes 11 new tools that give you many entirely unique effects, as well as some highly enhanced classics that you’ve been asking for. Best of all, with GPU acceleration, these transitions won’t slow you down.

Red Giant Universe version 2.2 includes several new tools that bring the old fashioned video vibe to bear including effects for VHS Transition, Retrograde Transition, Carousel Transition, Flicker Cut, Camera Shake Transition, Channel Surf, Channel Blur, Linear Wipe, Shape Wipe, Colour Mosaic, and Clock Wipe.

Users can use these plugins to create a noisy overlay and can even degrade the pristine 4K image of your source material to the point that it looks like you shot your film on a shoulder mounted VHS camera. Users can also create the more proper 4:3 aspect ratio, which would necessitate a pan and scan technique, if you’re going to be a purist about it all.

Users of Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Final Cut Pro can also give their titles a shiny metallic look with “Luster,” that harkens back to the titles used on old Atari video game boxes.  If you’re a DaVinci Resolve user, you have a few extra steps that include converting your text into a compound clip and then keying it appropriately. This is because Resolve doesn’t support OpenFX filters for this application.

Check out this short film using the plugins with maximum effect:

I kinda like the whole Channel surfing effect that mimics the image distortion that would occur when changing channels on an old fashioned rotary dial channel selector. That brings back a few memories.

Moving on, there’s other tools that aren’t a part of the retro vibe that Universe users can use including Logo Motion for a simple animated logo sequence, “Unmult,” which is a basic compositor for shooting against darkened backgrounds, Knoll Lighting Effects for Light Transitions and flares, and a color correction tool known as Finisher for locking in the overall feel that you want to convey with a color palette.

Universe 2.2 also includes a fisheye fixer, which comes in handy when incorporating action camera footage that uses a very wide field of view to capture an image. Lastly, Red Giant Universe 2.2 also brings support to Avid Media Composer Version 8.9 and higher.

A Red Giant Universe subscription to gain access to all these great retro tools, amongst others, is $99 per year or $20 a month. Ironically, that was the price for the first VHS version of Star Wars!

You can subscribe through the Red Giant Link app and install into your NLE.

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About James DeRuvo 241 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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